Movements of the reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) in the Red Sea using satellite and acoustic telemetry

Camrin D. Braun, Gregory B. Skomal, Simon R. Thorrold, Michael L. Berumen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Populations of mobulid rays are declining globally through a combination of directed fisheries and indirect anthropogenic threats. Understanding the movement ecology of these rays remains an important priority for devising appropriate conservation measures throughout the world’s oceans. We sought to determine manta movements across several temporal and spatial scales with a focus on quantifying site fidelity and seasonality in the northern Farasan Banks, Red Sea. We fitted manta rays with acoustic transmitters (n = 9) and pop-up satellite archival transmitting (PSAT) tags (n = 9), including four with GPS capability (Fastloc), during spring 2011 and 2012. We deployed an extensive array of acoustic receivers (n = 67) to record movements of tagged mantas in the study area. All acoustically tagged individuals traveled frequently among high-use receiver locations and reefs and demonstrated fidelity to specific sites within the array. Estimated and realized satellite tag data indicated regional movements
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2351-2362
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 27 2015

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KSA 00011, USA00002
Acknowledgements: The authors thank J. Cochran for useful discussion of the data and management of the acoustic array; Dream Divers for logistical support; T. Sinclair-Taylor, M. Priest, J. Cochran, M. Khalil, P. De La Torre, and the Reef Ecology Lab at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for assistance in the field. Financial support was provided in part by KAUST baseline research funds (to MLB), KAUST award nos. USA00002 and KSA 00011 (to SRT), and the U.S. National Science Foundation (OCE 0825148 to SRT and GBS). The manuscript was improved by feedback from B. Jones and S. Kaartvedt.


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